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Romancing the Ugly Duckling

(Romancing the... #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  287 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Is this the makeover of a lifetime?

Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.

Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated
ebook, Dreamspun Desires #36, 260 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  287 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Start your review of Romancing the Ugly Duckling (Romancing the..., #2)
So much better than book 1.

-I enjoyed the Opposites Attract trope.

- Joel Lelie's narration was so much better here and he nailed the Scottish Accent.

-The romance part was adorable and fluffy.

Overall it was an enjoyable book.

Cupcake's amazing review tells it all
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
This book was a nice surprise. The blurb and friends' reviews drew me in, even though I've never read anything by Clare London before. But I'm happy to report this won't be my last book by this author.

I adored:

the small town Scottish setting;
the cast of secondary characters (Dougie, Birdie, and Lisa added so much to the story);
the authentic dialogue (I LOVE it when authors stay true to regional accents, and I've long been a fan of the Scottish brogue);
the enemies-to-lovers and
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Let's just nutshell this deal, k?

L O V E D ! ! ! !

I might have had little hearts floating around my head even. From the start to finish I loved it. I laughed out loud. I had some feels. I shouted at the fictional characters in my phone like they could hear me. But most unbelievable of all, I drove the speed limit! Well, for the most part. A lot more than I normally do so that's something.

Romancing the Ugly Duckling had so many things I love in my romance reads my head was spinning around on
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read June 2018.
I so needed this since it's simply too hot outside.


This was just so cute. Such a feel good romance with the added bonus of it taking place in the beautiful country of Scotland.

I got all this cozy autumn/winter feelings from reading this. I loved the descriptions of the beautiful lochs and the cold and wet weather. It made me want to bundle up in a blanket and drink hot chocolate.

Perry is a high maintenance kind of guy, with his carefully
5 Hearts

The month of June with the Dreamspun Desires series has been off the charts amazing. This book, once again, is what the line is all about. It gives you the fluff and the feels all rolled into one hell of a sexy package AND it is set partly in Scotland! Can you hear my squeals of excitement at that?

Goodness, prepare for a ramble because this book, these two men, this setting and the damn dog were perfect!

We meet Perry Goodwood, fashionista and make-over extraordinaire, as he is
BWT (Belen)

I love a good Opposites Attract trope! When it's mixed with a fun Fish out of Water trope, I'm in like Flynn.

Put it in Scotland and add Joel Leslie's narration? I could (and did!) listen all day.

What's to know? Perry Goodwood, who's never been outside of London, is given an impossible assignment of getting the wayward brother of a celebrity family to leave his home on the isolated island of North Uist and return to London to participate in a reality series.

Only thing is Greg Ventura has no use
3.75 stars rounded up

Oooh, this is another favorite from the Dreamspinner Dreamspun series. While it plays around the trope of ugly duckling but what pulls me into it is more around the whole "city boy being plucked into the wilderness" theme. Oh, plus opposite attracts!

Although the 'real' time-span that Perry spends in the company of gruff ragged Greg (and his lovely dog, Rory) at the isolated island of North Uist, Scotland, is only for a couple of weeks, but I didn't feel like it at all! I
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
*3,5 stars*

Despite some unrealistic details and plot developments I really enjoyed this light and fluffy romance. Great summer and holiday read!
Eli Easton
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a super cute, fast read. Just what I needed. I'm always attracted to fairy tale spins like Beauty and the Beast. The ugly duckling trope is less common and so I was interested to see what Clare did with it. In this case, the ugly duckling in question had been put down by his gorgeous brothers and of course, turns out not to be particularly ugly at all. I loved the Scottish setting and the bits of local lingo and flavor. Well done, Clare!
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
4.5 stars

Definitely one of my favorite books so far from this series!!! I didn't want it to end. I fell in love with Perry & Greg!

I am being a tad bit petty by only giving it 4.5 stars. Initially I was going straight for the 5 stars, but I wanted an epilogue. Why??? Why couldn't we see where Greg & Perry end up in 6 months or a year? Does Greg and his brothers end up mending the rift in their brotherhood? What becomes of Perry's business proposal with Aileen? Does Bridie and Lisa get
Serena Yates
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, read-2017
The tale of the ‘Ugly Duckling’ has fascinated me as long as I can remember. It combines the idea of a second chance (on a personal basis) with discovering who you really are a little later in life than your contemporaries – and both of those are wonderful tropes, at least in my opinion. In ‘Romancing the Ugly Duckling’, Clare London has taken the well-known children’s story of duck-to-swan-fame, added in elements of city mouse/country mouse, and braided those strands into a wonderfully ...more
Not as good as London's first in the series, but okay.
Joyfully Jay
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth
Updated for audiobook review:
Read Jay’s audio review in its entirety here.

A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

This is an adorable, cheerful, charming little book that’s a perfect combination of fish out of water and city mouse/country mouse. Perry and Greg have a solid, honest connection that feels sincere and sweet in equal parts.

While Perry is a fashion follower from London who pays attention to celebrity culture and clothing styles, he’s not a shallow person. He’s an extrovert to Greg’s introvert
Lost in a Book
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
This is one of those reads that makes you all warm and cozy and gooey inside. It's fluff at its finest and sometimes a girl just wants needs some grouchy-growly-beasty-hottie-with-a-side-of-twink kind of fluff. *shrug*

If I get the chance in the future, I'll give the audio a shot.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved every second of this! It's the old trope of city-boy-on-assignment-in-the-country, which is always a fun culture shock to experience. All the stops are hit: initial appearance/sink-or-swim, romancing the locals, learning to adapt/finding-your-stride, the foreboding departure, the big goodbye, and the chasing after him after he leaves. Like all tropes, this forms the skeleton of the novel, and it's up to the author to provide the meat, and this cute, heart-warming story delivers! Every ...more
The Ventura brothers - or at least the four who haven't shunned the spotlight - are angling for a reality television show to help keep the money flowing. The only problem is that the producers want ALL of the brothers on the show, including Greg, who has gone mostly recluse on an isolated island in Scotland. So they enlist Perry Goodwood (lol sorry, I'm childish as fuck, I can't help but laugh at his last name a little bit) to not only find their wayward brother, but make him over and convince ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love stories like this. The contrast of characters with their settings, the bit of opposites attract, a character setting out to change someone but finding himself changed instead…coupling all this with the sweetness, the wonderful backdrop, and the host of quirky supporting characters…oh yeah, I definitely loved this one too.

Perry is just adorable. He’s a city boy through and through, and has aspirations of doing more than just being a stylist at a PR company. He’s thoughtful and bright, with
3.25 Stars

I'm a sucker for books with Scotland or Scottish element in it. Which was why I jumped at a chance of reading Romancing the Ugly Duckling. And I had quite a fun time reading this book.

The main characters - Greg and Perry - were the absolute opposites attract expected: a klutzy nature-loving recluse and a polished city guy. Yet what's interesting to me was the effortless ability with which Perry take up the simplicity of small town living, even charmed his way into the island
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This would make a really good film. Excellent, recommended.

Sometimes you just want romance. You want the fish out of water, the character who is faced with impossible odds, the recluse who prefers his own company and the one who is vivacious and everyone loves them. Sometimes you want a Scottish island, remote, unforgiving, with a community dynamic that has everyone up in everyone's business. I wanted that, i love that, and I found it in this book. I absolutely love the romance, the reliance on
Lorraine Lesar
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So cute and all the right kinds of fluff *sighs*

The clue is in the title, so you know what to expect. And you would be right. But the title doesn't prepare you for the-cutest-of-cutes, Perry Goodwood (love that name) or on-the-surface-only, big gruff, Greg Ventura.
What a pair! So mis-matched on that first look, but with that second glance, you get to see how perfect they are for each other. Throw into the pot a lovable dog, meddlesome neighbour's (but hearts of gold), family feuds, a greedy PR

This was such a cute story with little to no angst and a really, really sweet HEA. I loved the MCs and their slow burn romance. I couldn't ask for more.
On the isolated island of North Uist, which is apparently off the coast of Scotland, there lives a man all by himself in a smallish house after running away from his assholish brothers and his neglectful parents to paint, dive for scallops, and be mostly a recluse, keeping to himself.

His four brothers, one of whom I hated on sight, all somewhat famous for some reason or other, hope to make a deal with a TV company to create a reality show a la Kardashians, but they can only get the deal if the
Denise H.
*** This is a wonderful delightful gem ! ***
A cute British/Scottish story of unexpected love !
Slim, small, Perry, works in designing and makeovers.

He is sent on a trip to Scotland, to reel in the 5th brother of the famous Ventura family, for a reality show.
Greg, 25, wants nothing to do with his bullying brothers.

Perry meanwhile, is stranded there with Greg, so he makes the most of it. He helps with chores, but there's a mishap, and finally it settles to routine. * He gets to see what Greg
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: onedrive
I had a great time reading this story about a city boy going to the Scottish countryside to convince the brother of a few celebrity boys to come back to London, for a TV show. First of all, however, he has to transform this "ugly duckling" into a swan. When Perry arrives on the small island, where Greg lives, he is surprised to find a self-conscious but gorgeous man instead of the expected ugly duckling. He also finds out very quickly, that taking Greg back to London will be next to ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
3.5 rating. Cute re-telling of the ugly duckling story trope. While some parts of the story are underdeveloped (I agree with others--Greg's conflict with his brothers gets resolved too easily here) the growing intimacy between Perry and Greg was enjoyable to read and experience. Side characters, like Birdie, fleshed out the story further and added some fun humor and flavor to the story. All in all, if you're looking for a romance that's a little on the sweet side and has light angst, this is ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, arc, dsp, 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa The Novel Approach
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perry, an up and coming stylist for a London media firm, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime. He just needs to convince the fifth of the famous Ventura brothers (think British Kardashians but with guys) to return to London and participate in a “reality show” with the rest of his siblings. There’s just one problem—Greg has ZERO desire to see his brothers, let alone appear in a TV show with them.

Perry’s friends support him even though he’s nervous about heading north. He knows nothing about
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review available at:

Rating 4.5*s

Romancing the Ugly Duckling is the second book in the Romancing the… series by Clare London. I enjoy the way that Ms. London writes. She has a way of making me feel what the characters are feeling. I found myself chuckling at some of the things the characters were saying and thinking and I love when a book can make me chuckle. I also loved all of the little plot twists, some that I saw coming and others that I didn’t.
Helena Stone
You know how sometimes you read a book and it just works on every single level? Romancing the Ugly Duckling was that sort of a read for me. The story and I just clicked; almost as if the book had been written to my personal specifications.

The premise is something we’ve all read before; City-slicker Perry meets anything but suave Greg and while their differences should have kept them miles apart, the magnetism of opposites kicks in and the two men stand no chance in the face of that mutual
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was so lovely - the romance, the setting, the characters! <3 <3 I finished Romancing the Ugly Duckling very quickly, because I was in the mood for a sweet, romantic story, and this one really hit the mark and was EXACTLY what I was hoping it would be.

Perry and Greg's story was very sweet and their romance built in such a wonderful, well written way so that, even though they didn't know each other for all that long really, their connection just felt so natural and right. Greg
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Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while ...more

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